By: Ali ElizabethTurner
Doris Fielding was born at home on Cotton Belt Road on June 16, 1931. Her daddy farmed and it’s easy to tell that chopping cotton is not something that she misses at the ripe old age of 87! She went to West Limestone High School and graduated in 1949. One year later she married the love of her life, John Robert Fielding Jr. They were introduced to each other by a relative, and were married for 64 years. Together they built a thriving Harley-Davidson business, and raised two boys. She told me that when Johnny was on the road for business, he would call home every night. “We weren’t rich, but we had enough,” she said. They loved to travel as a family and would take a road trip every year. Doris especially loved Mexico. She also loved being on the back of a Harley, and showed me a model of a Harley proudly displayed in her room. Within three years, beginning in 2014, Doris tragically and suddenly lost her husband and two sons to heart attacks, and the shock has been tremendous. She has been very thankful for the support she has received, and her faith is what has pulled her through.

As a family, the Fieldings fellowshipped at Market Street Church of Christ, then Salem Church of Christ. They were very active in both churches. For awhile Doris attended Athens State University back when it was Athens College. Miss Doris is quite well known for her cooking, and has even won cooking awards; so it stands to reason that “favorite foods” were near the top of this Spotlight column’s usual list.

Favorite color? Green.

Favorite food to cook? Chicken. Her Chicken Crunch Casserole is one of her dishes that is award-winning, and will be featured at the end of this article.

Favorite food to eat? Potato salad.

Favorite scripture? Psalm 23.

Favorite hymn? “Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross.”

Favorite book? Gone With The Wind.

Favorite movie? Gone With The Wind.

Favorite actor? Clark Gable.

Favorite actress? Maureen O’Hara.

Favorite entertainer? Elvis Presley.

Favorite President? JFK. “Losing him was like losing a member of the family. He was such a family man; that’s why I admired him.”

Biggest change? “Losing my family.” She is also sad to see how the American family has fallen apart.

Doris says that her time at Limestone Health “could not have been better. It’s clean, the conditions are great, and they treat you like family.” She especially loves the free music concerts, and enjoyed making ice cream during one of the planned activities.
Best advice to young people? “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. The Golden Rule.” Always excellent advice, from the lips and heart of a woman who knows she is highly blessed.

We have included Doris Fielding’s award-winning Chicken Crunch Casserole, courtesy of the Athens News Courier.

Chicken Crunch Casserole
¼ cup chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 hard boiled eggs, diced
2 tbsp. chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ can chow mien noodles
½ can water chestnuts, chopped
¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
Mix all ingredients except almonds. Spoon into a baking dish that has been lightly oiled. Bake 30 minutes at 325 F. Remove from oven and sprinkle with almonds.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Just this past June, Lisa Elkins began to realize a longstanding dream, that of opening a genuine Southern wedding venue in Athens, Alabama. Lisa is a Florida native with an “Athens attachment” – her daughter and grandchildren live here, and her sister Tammy Jones works with the property manager of the Gilbert family land holdings. Lisa’s niece lives right behind the elegant plantation that for several years has been known as Madelyn’s in the Grove. “Let me know the minute it becomes available, if it ever does,” Lisa would tell Tammy, and when it popped up for lease in May, Lisa was ready to move. She retired from 27 years at Oldcastle Lawn and Garden Supply in Florida, and relocated here. Her husband Richard owns an auto supply store in Florida, and backed her bold move with blessing as well as financial investment. “I absolutely could not take this risk if it weren’t for Richard, Tammy, my family and my friends. I am so grateful I can hardly express it,” she told me heartily. The whole crew has worked for months from sunup to nightfall to get the house and grounds at 1005 Elkton Street in Athens ready to open this fall.

Captain T.L. Wells owned the first home on the property, which unfortunately burned down. The property we see today with its long drive, gorgeous oaks, eight fireplaces, stained glass windows, beveled glass doors, old-style porch swing and sturdy wooden Amish rockers was purchased by the Gilbert family in 1908. They have owned it ever since. In Captain Wells honor, Lisa decided to name her business Welleswood Wedding Venue, but her dream is much greater than for weddings only. “I love people, and I love bringing people together. I want this place to be busy with weddings, family reunions, bridal showers, baby showers, high teas, seasonal and holiday events, and more,” she said.

For many years in Florida, Lisa had an event business on the side, and in preparation for “going big,” she began to collect all manner of event supplies from elegant serving pieces to Royal Albert china, to linens, to silver tea and coffee sets, to holiday decorations to theme props. She is ready for just about anything!

On Monday, August 21, which is the same day as the total solar eclipse, Lisa is going to have her Open House/ Soft Opening from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors will be able to come tour the grounds, get some information, see what’s possible, dream some, enjoy refreshments, and wish her well in her new endeavor. On Thursday, September 7, at 4 p.m. she will have both a ribbon cutting ceremony through the Chamber of Commerce, as well as a Grand Opening celebration immediately following. The Grand Opening will feature wedding and event planners, Jeannie Pirtle of Nip and Tuck Florist, Keith Zemnes of KBZ Photography, Metropolitan Disc Jockey and Special Event Lighting, wedding cake, and more!

The upstairs at Welleswood is ready for the bridal party, and is beautifully appointed. The bride has her own dressing room, the bridesmaids have theirs, there are several vanities in each room for applying makeup, and a salon chair for doing hair. “Most often the guys want to get dressed somewhere else,” Lisa said, “but if they want to do that here, we can pull the doors to the parlor closed, and they will have plenty of room to get ready and still not see the bride and bridesmaids.”

Many couples get married between the columns at the top of the steps, and the stairs function as perfect descending staging for the wedding party. Some prefer to tie the knot at the bottom of the steps; some enjoy saying their vows between the oaks or in the garden. Whatever the outdoor configuration, Lisa has 150 white wedding chairs as well as 15 round tables and linens for outside on the lawn. For an indoor wedding, a party of 75 can be comfortably accommodated, and Lisa is very flexible, ready to meet the needs of her guests.

As I sat out on the expansive wraparound porch in one of the Amish rockers interviewing Lisa and meeting Tammy, I was overwhelmed with the sense of timelessness and peace that pervades Welleswood. I felt as though I had stepped back in time to an era when people were not in so much of a hurry and took the time to fully enjoy what the French call ambience, the “character or atmosphere of a place.” The trees, the songs of the birds, the horses next door, the porch swing, all of it made me wish I could be the mother of the bride one more time. Add to that Lisa’s commitment to truly serve her guests and be present and prepared for anything, and I truly believe Welleswood Wedding Venue is going to soar.
By: Ali ElizabethTurner

Duck Decorating Contest

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful invites businesses and organizations to participate in their first Quacky Duck Decorating contest. Make it whimsical. Make it beautiful. Make it unique. Most of all, make it FUN!

KALB will provide a wooden duck to anybusiness or organization within Limestone County wishing to participate. Ducks will be available by August 1st. “Ducks can be decorated to reflect the business or organization or any theme that makes them happy,” said Lynne Hart, KALB ExecutiveCoordinator. “The ducks can be painted or have embellishments added as long as the footprint of the finished duck is no larger than 18” x 18”. There is no entry fee to participate.

Ducks will be displayed at businesses from September 1st (or earlier if theyare ready) through the first week of October. The community will be asked to vote for their favorite duck. $1 equals one vote and voting jars will be located by each duck. Ducks will then be displayed at the Old Time Fiddlers Convention where additional votes will be collected. The decorators of the winning duck will be rewarded with a beautiful ribbon to proudly display. All decorated ducks will also be entered into a silent auction. Adding trinkets, coupons, or gift certificates to ducks will benefit the silent auction; however, this is not a requirement for participation.

All proceeds from voting and the silent auction will benefit Keep Athens- Limestone Beautiful.
For more information, contact KALB at KALBCares@ gmail.com, 256- 233-8000, or visit their website at www.KALBCares. com and click the Events tab. Online registration is available.

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Athens has lost a woman to cancer who can be described in a number of ways, not the least of which includes “a grand warrior and a great cook.” Her name was Sue Edgemon, and I first met her at a Juice Plus+ team meeting held at her home back in 2003, and I loved her from the get go. She battled cancer literally for decades, and her “independence” from it was recently declared just after the 4th of July. Sue was truly the sweetest of “cancer combatants,” and the whole way she lived her life, from what she ate to how she lived to what she said touched her family and all of us deeply. She fought hard and beautifully, and I have no doubt that the lifestyle choices she made extended her life for years. We will miss her greatly until we “get to where she’s gotten to.”

In her honor we are publishing what we call in our house “Sue’s Guac,” but perhaps it would be better described as “Sue’s Superb Guacamole.” It is the best I have ever had, and I lived in Mexico for almost two years! Enjoy with abandon, because it is tasty and terrifically healthy, and a tribute to a wonderful woman who finished well.

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Pauline Garlen is one of those folks who didn’t start out in the South, but is forever glad she finally got here and lived the majority of her life here. She was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, January 28, 1936, right in the middle of the Great Depression, and her father worked in the coal mines. As was often the case in those days, everyone in the family did what they could to contribute to help the family, and Pauline worked at the local “5&10.” Yes, for those of you who might wonder why in the world they were called that, it really was true that there were many, many things you could purchase for a nickel or a dime. And, Pauline would like you to know that there was a time that she seriously considered becoming a nun!

However, when Pauline was around 20, she met and married Johnny Lee Garlen, on the 28th of May, 1956. Johnny was from here, and here is where they lived. They had two children, John Edward and Kathleen Romane, and they found a way to make it work. “I was Catholic,” she told me, “and Johnny wasn’t.” Johnny’s mom taught Pauline how to pick cotton, as well as a number of other things, and they were happy.

Much later in life she worked for several years for Dr. Nauman Quereshi here in Athens, and he encouraged her to go to nursing school. She went to Calhoun, got her degree, and credits Dr. Q for encouraging her to become all she could.

Pauline has several favorites, and one of them was to bake and decorate chocolate chip cakes. That began back when she lived up North, and her reputation grew as someone who could make la pièce de résistance when it came to some child’s birthday.

Her favorite food to eat? Fried chicken.
Her favorite color? Red
Her favorite actor? Clark Gable
Her favorite actress? Betty Grable. We talked about the fact that Miss Grable’s legs were insured for nearly a million dollars “back in the day,” or so the story goes.
Her favorite movie? Gone With The Wind
Her favorite book besides the Bible? Not surprisingly, Gone With The Wind
Her favorite President? JFK. We also talked about the day he died and what an impact it had on us both.

Biggest change in her lifetime? “Moms going to work. When I was young, no one worked outside the home if they were married or had kids.”

As far as Limestone Health is concerned, Pauline could not stop talking about how impressed she has been as a rehab patient. “”It’s a beautiful place,” she said, and she especially loves the arts and crafts projects. Ladies from Hospice come and teach crafts in their spare time, and she has completed several drawing and painting projects. She also said she’s getting real “good at cards.”

Pauline has a number of staff members of whom she is quite fond, and one of her favorites is Kanisha, who works in Activities.

We closed our time with a hug, and I asked her what she would want young people to glean from her life. She thought for awhile and said, “Follow your heart.” Lovely advice from a lovely woman.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

Alabama means “home, sweet home.” A large part of that mentality is attributed to none other than Alabama football. Alabama football means tradition, and nothing says Alabama tradition like Coach Gene Stallings.

Though retired from coaching, Stallings has continually inspired us via radio programs and speeches given across America. Hailing from Paris, Texas, Stallings ensures availability to meet with fans and football followers alike.

Thursday, August 3, 2017 is no exception. The Rogersville Chamber of Commerce and Town of Rogersville, AL will co-host “A Night with Coach Gene Stallings” at the Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum is Florence, AL. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m., featuring a catered dinner and speech delivered by Coach Stallings.

Over the years, Stallings has built a large following, as his speeches and lifestyle inspire thousands. Attendees can expect an incredible night of storytelling, life motivation, and a good ole’ time with the Football Hall of Famer himself.

Coach Stallings recently suffered a stroke, and was hospitalized for a brief time. The Rogersville Chamber has been in constant contact with Stallings, and he assures us that his health is improving. Stallings has laughed, joked and continued about his business as if nothing can stop him—and it can’t. Stallings is taking a summer hiatus for recovery, with the Rogersville Chamber fundraiser being his first event following the break.

According to Director Kate Brown, “The Chamber is honored by his commitment to this event. We pray for a speedy recovery, and are grateful he is taking time to rest and recuperate. Mr. Stallings is an inspiration to everyone he meets, so we join his many admiring fans in wishing the best for him.”

For ticket sales and more information about the event, contact Director Kate Brown at the Rogersville Chamber of Commerce by phone (256-247-9449), email (chamber@rogersvillealabama.com), or website contact (www.visitrogersvilleal.com).
Ticket sales are also available online via TicketLeap at www.Rogersville.Ticketleap.Com.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

The Athens Lions Club will again bring a piece of America to life this summer with the opening of their annual Kiddie Carnival June 29th. A mixture of joy, excitement and anticipation will fill the air as veteran and new riders wait their turn to ride one of the 10 rides for toddlers and young children. One such ride is the small vintage train that circles on its own track, riders scream and raise their arms as it goes through the dark train shed. Other kids and families wait in line for delicious favorites including funnel cakes, popcorn and hamburgers. Concessions also include corn dogs, chicken sandwiches, cold drinks, snow cones and dippin dots.

The Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival has provided generations of fun for kids and their parents, grandparents and friends. Located at the same site since 1957; it’s a summer pastime for many who now bring their kids out to enjoy the Kiddie Carnival. The Kiddie Carnival will open June 29th, with an opening ceremony at 6:00pm and rides opening around 6:30pm. Each ride requires just one 50 cent ticket. Families from surrounding communities are learning about this summer treasure of fun for their young kids.

As families enter the Kiddie Carnival, to their right old vintage rocket ships circle as the motor hums, kids giggle and watch the crowd as they zoom around. Just as the riders settle into the flight a Lion member changes the control so the rockets rise up a few feet, circle for a while in “orbit” and then drop back down. Other rides include small and large swings, a parachute ride that takes riders up as it circles and then come back down and a small scale roller coaster. The scrambler ride circles on its platform as kids spin in their seat, heading toward the crowd and then back to the center. Enjoyed by toddlers are the old fashion pedal cars that go around and the carousel with horses, as their parents stand beside them on the ride. For the more adventurous riders there is a small ferris wheel that takes the riders up above the crowd where they look over the sights and sounds of another fun night at the Kiddie Carnival.

The Kiddie Carnival is operated by Athens Lions Club members and other countless volunteers. Assistance to operate the Kiddie Carnival is provided by spouses of club members, the Leo Club, local high school sororities and other civic groups and businesses as well as individual volunteers.

Athens Lions President Tim Carter stated “It is a wonderful experience each summer to be able to witness all the kids having such a grand time at the carnival and knowing that at the same time we are raising funds that go to help some of our less fortunate families with expenses for correcting their visual problems.”

A part of the funds from last year’s Kiddie Carnival were recently used to fund scholarships for 5 local high school seniors who volunteered at the carnival and met other criteria. Lions International key focus area is sight. The Athens Lions Club supports this by helping those in the Athens who qualify with sight exams or glasses, as well as collecting used eyeglasses to be recycled. In the past year they have supported Alabama Lions Sight Conservation Association, Camp ASCCA and Camp Seale Harris, a camp for youth with diabetes and local causes.

The club, through manpower or funding, has provided assistance to Limestone Career Technical School Leo Club; Learn to read council, Hospice of Limestone County, Superhero Fun Day, Athens Grease Festival and the Athens Storytelling Festival. The big train has been taken to numerous civic events including riding in the Athens Christmas parade and providing rides at the Limestone Sherriff’s Special Needs Rodeo. It is the generous support of the Kiddie Carnival that allows these programs and community support by the Athens Lions Club.

The Kiddie Carnival is located across from Athens Middle School at 309 E Forrest Street. It is open every Thursday, Friday & Saturday night June 29th-August 5th from 6:30pm-9:30pm. Additional information about the Kiddie Carnival can be found at http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/athensal/ or their Facebook page: Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival.

Dan Mankins has been a part of Premier Structures, Incorporated since 2003, when the founders, Will and Helen Evans were both actively involved. Mr. Evans passed away in 2006, at which point Miss Helen asked Dan to manage PSI, and in 2012 he purchased the business. They are in their 31st year, and things are going well. However, they recently plunged into a project that they never expected – being a part of solar energy making a comeback and coming of age.

I was actually delivering papers to PSI when I saw a building permit displayed in the window, indicating that they were in the middle of a solar-panel project. Curious, I talked with Dan, and he decided it was time to tell PSI’s “Solar Story.” By way of background, solar energy has been a bit “iffy” since it was first introduced on a large scale in the mid-‘80s. The panels were not sturdy, the output was not that great, and enthusiasm for the concept declined. Dan actually lives in a subdivision in Elkmont that was originally designed to be solar powered, and at present, not one house has any functional type of solar unit producing energy. Then solar became somewhat part of a political football, as did reduction in power consumption in general. The whole building industry had to make adjustments in the way they insulated walls, as well as the kind of lighting they used. They have gotten good at LED lighting installation and usage, and are also grateful that those ugly squiggly bulbs are a thing of the past.

Nevertheless, Dan will be the first to tell you that he was not at all interested in hearing the sales presentations of vendors who specialized in solar energy. “I had a pretty high level of sales resistance, but customers started asking about it and for it, and I knew I had to do research.” He discovered that much had changed since the ‘80s and ‘90s, and that solar was indeed coming into its own. However, it took sitting down with a man who worked for someone Dan trusted, and having the opportunity to ask the toughest questions he could, that caused Dan to change his mind. He discovered that today’s solar panels are thicker, better, and now have a 25-year warranty. In addition, there were all kinds of grants available from the TVA. Dan also mentioned that the older he gets, the more the idea of being “energy independent” appeals to him as a business owner. He also mentioned that when he builds his next home for his family, it will include solar energy.

Dan also became aware of the fact that municipalities all across the country were taking a new look at solar and were implementing it into their city planning. He also knew that in Elkmont, there is a thriving solar farm on Sandlin Road generating a considerable amount of power and selling it back to the grid. He decided to take the plunge and construct a solar installation in the shed on the back part of the PSI property. Dan had a specific goal in mind, and that was to eliminate PSI’s utility bill, which annually is six thousand dollars. They are on track to not only accomplish that goal, but the project will pay for itself in seven years.

Dan says he has become a “raving fan,” and he’s not alone. Cinemagic Theatre in Athens is installing some panels. He says, “It’s becoming collaborative, and there are projects also in Pulaski and Huntsville.” Dan also mentioned that the light poles all along Memorial Parkway are solar. The same is the case with the light poles at Wal-Mart. He says “It’s the wave of the future.” He also knows that there are areas where the designs need some work, but is confident that they will continue to improve as well as be more versatile, and more types of projects will be able to be solar based.

With regard to the grants, Dan said he’s seen a certain pattern, and he wants to pass this information on to the consumer. Back a few years ago, when solar was making a comeback, grants were plentiful and TVA was a little looser with the purse strings. The grants could be drying up, though, so if the possibility of “going solar” is something you have considered either for a residential or commercial solar project, now is the time to come to PSI and have a serious sit-down with Dan to look at your options. He and his team will be more than happy to give you the help that only comes from experience.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

Cheryl Blakely Barksdale was born in September of 1953. She graduated from Athens Bible School, and her daddy worked at Flanagan Lumber. In 1974, she married Wayne Barksdale, who spent most of his career working at PPG in Huntsville. For her part, Cheryl ran a day care service from her home for 25 years. “I am still in touch with lots of the kids,” she said, and added, “The kiddos are having kiddos, and I am a grandma to a zillion.” Cheryl lost her husband, lives with their daughter, and when I met her, she had just found out that she was going to be able to go home the next day. She had been at Limestone Health Facility for three months, and while she was greatly pleased with all the care she had received, she was more than ready to go home.

While we were in the day room, staff and residents alike came in to wish her well, give her a gift, or wave from the glass outside the room. Cheryl said that she had been treated just like family. “The food has been wonderful, the care has been wonderful, and every little thing that you need—you’ve got it!” She also had a roommate who was also going through physical rehab and has become a bosom buddy. They were due to be released the same day, and have promised to stay in touch.

Cheryl’s daughter tells her, “You have not looked this good in years.” Cheryl says that the therapy has been holistic, and has really helped her.

While Wayne was still alive, the Barksdales fellowshipped at Eastside Church of Christ, then Jackson Drive Church of Christ, and their church life was very important to all of them. I asked Cheryl what her favorite hymn was, and she told me a title I had never heard: “When All Of God’s Singers Get Home.” Her favorite scripture is “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths,” better known as Proverbs 3:5-6. Her favorite book in the Bible is Psalms, and we moved on to the topic of her other favorites.

Her favorite color? “Blue.”
Her favorite food to cook? “Spaghetti with a thick meat sauce.” She also made fried peach pies for Jiffy for about three years.
Her favorite actress? Maureen O’Hara. We talked about Maureen’s movies with “the Duke,” and how “they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore.” It took awhile for us to remember the title of “The Quiet Man,” which is one of their most famous.
Favorite President? “Reagan.”

Biggest change in her lifetime? “The Internet.” We talked about the fact that in our homes when we were growing up we had encyclopedias, both World Book and the Encyclopedia Britannica, and now all we have to do is “google” something and we can find it.

Best advice to young people? “Be careful what you do and look out for others.” Good words from a woman with a grateful heart.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

It was Christmas of 2012, and John and Amanda McGrew decided that they were going to accept the “All America Challenge.” That meant that every gift they bought had to have one thing going for it – it had to have been made in the good ol’ US of A. They were successful in their endeavor, had a blessed holiday, and a few years later decided to start Homeland Trading, which is located at the intersection of Forrest and Hwy 31 in Athens, right near CVS Pharmacy. The address is 1207 East Forrest Street.
It was July of 2015 when they opened up shop, and I have rarely seen a harder working and more determined set of entrepreneurs. They both have other full-time jobs in the construction fields, and for two years have put everything into Homeland in order to make it a go. The good news is that on July 14, they are throwing a birthday party as well as an anniversary sale, and you are invited! Amanda said, “There will be a storewide markdown of 20%, and refreshments will be served.” (The 20% does not apply to items that have already been reduced.)

The McGrews have always made it clear that they are not opposed to imports, they just have felt that things were out of balance, and America was coming up on the short end of the stick when it comes to jobs and the economy in general. “So many people think that Wranglers are made in America, and they aren’t, except for just a tiny high-end part of the line,” said Amanda. Wrangler is not the only one whose attempts to appear “all-American” are confusing. Carhartt produces most of their clothing in Mexico, and Levis also produce just a very high-end line items here in America. Their “American-made jeans” are a whopping $150 apiece, and this unfortunately perpetuates the misunderstanding that if you “buy American” you are going to be paying through the nose. Homeland Trading Company carries two lines, Roundhouse and Union Line, which are more than reasonably priced. One customer said, “This is how my Carhartts used to fit,” and loves the quality. Amanda said, “Even if a customer isn’t a ‘part of the movement’ to buy American, no one has ever taken issue with us saying, ‘Buying American is good for America.’” To the McGrews, this is just a way of showing patriotism that benefits everyone.

Some of the changes in the summer season that Homeland is going to be making will be transitioning away from work boots and making room for children’s clothes. A most popular item is camo overalls for kids. The toddler girl camos even have little pink ruffles along the trouser cuffs. Another item that is a big hit are the Alabama Wholesale Socks. Talk about being “made in America,” these are 100% cotton, made over yonder in Ft. Payne, and are cheaper than what you will get at a big-box store. “They are made here, packed by hand, and they even include a hand-written note thanking me for my business,” said Amanda. “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about,” I replied.

Besides the anniversary party, Homeland Trading is going to have a boutique/booth at the Piney Chapel Antique Show, to be held on August 4 and 5. The work boots will be clearance priced, and there will be jeans, overalls, and big and little pocket T-shirts. These are plain, no logos, and are perfect for work or school. There will also be socks for the whole family. That weekend happens to be the back-to-school tax-free weekend; so you can get a good deal of your school shopping done while enjoying the unique atmosphere of a small town festival.

I asked Amanda if the Made In America Movement is gaining traction. She said, “Yes! There are more Made In America options that are the real deal, and more online items are now available.” She also told me that from her point of view, she is “proud to have been associated early on with a movement that is growing.” For my part, I am enormously proud of John and Amanda. They took a huge risk to bless us with things we need and a commitment to grow our local economy, have worked themselves down to a nub, and still have the desire to throw a family-friendly party. That indeed is the American Dream, and may the Made In America Movement spread from sea to shining sea.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner